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You might mistake this insect for a bee or hummingbird

bee that looks like a hummingbird

Many of the happy owners of country houses and just lovers of nature in the warm season may have observed a strange flying creature that moves quite fast through the air, sometimes hovering over flowers and at the same time does not give itself a good look. This strange insect resembles a bee, which looks like a hummingbird. But even the most inexperienced in biology people understand that the hummingbird is still an inhabitant of warm countries. So what is this mysterious animal? I suggest you get to know this wonder of nature better!

Not a bee or a hummingbird, but a moth

It is actually a moth of the butterfly family Sphingidae. It has several names. In english, they’re called sphinx moths. All because, if it is disturbed, it immediately raises its head to the top, spreads its wings and freezes. Remotely such a picture reminds of a sphinx. You can judge the similarity by the photo below.

Hummingbird moth looks like a sphinx
Looks a lot like a sphinx, doesn’t it?

Another english name for the insect is Hawk moth. People noticed that it was able to hover in the air while it extracted nectar, and named it after the long levitating predator.

Another name often used in the USA is Hummingbird moth.

This flying barrel is propelled by two pairs of wings. The front pair of wings echoes the colour scheme of the body, while the rear pair of wings are painted in yellow-orange shade. At fast sweeps outlines of wings, of course, are blurred and there remains a reddish blurred spot. As befits butterflies, this beauty feeds on nectar, which it sucks from flowers with its proboscis like a straw.

What a Hummingbird moth looks like

Large to medium-sized butterflies. Body powerful, cigar-shaped, often cone-shaped, pointed at the end. Wings narrow, elongated. The size of representatives of the group varies widely. Wingspan of representatives of the family is 30-200 mm; in most species 80-100 mm. Antennal anten nae are long, spindle-shaped, usually with pointed and hook-shaped bent apex. Eyes round, glabrous, often covered from above by a tuft of elongated scales. The proboscis is usually very long, exceeding several times the body length, less often short, sometimes reduced. The longest proboscis among Hummingbird moths (and all insects) is in the South American species Amphimoea walkeri – its length reaches 28 centimetres, which is four times longer than the rest of the body.

Where they inhabit

Hummingbird moth species number over a hundred and are scattered all over the world. It is found in Europe, northern Africa, India, Central Asia and the Caucasus. Although sometimes flies into atypical more northern regions bordering their warm habitat.

By the way, they are excellent fliers and are capable of travelling great distances. They can reach speeds of 50 kilometres per hour. So, for example, smelling that soon in their habitat will fly white flies, they get on the wing and go to warm lands, just like migratory birds. India, for example. Not bad for a butterfly, so to speak.

Now you know, when you meet this insect in the garden, that it is not a bee that looks like a hummingbird, but a Hummingbird moth.

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